How to Run a Marathon
                                                                                                       Photo By Ancil Nance
Base Training for projected marathon times of 3 hrs and under

This section is designed for people who have an exceptionally strong background in running. If this is your first marathon and you are intermediate runner, then it will be better for you to train at a level that will give you the most benefits. For those that consider themselves experienced runners, if you have not broken 18 minutes for a 5k or 38 minutes for a 10k, then you are overreaching and should go down at least one level. It is extremely beneficial not to over train. Over-training is the primary cause of injury.

Runners at this level will be working out with higher mileage. Because of this it is necessary to be injury free. Runners that are still working around minor injuries should either take some time off. At the bare minimum, they should do very light runs several weeks before jumping in this routine.

Runners at the top levels have the highest incidence of injury in all sports, with the exception of gymnastics. This is the reason for running at the appropriate level. One must avoid the trap of overtraining.
Base training's goal is to build your endurance and strength on top of the foundation you already have. The first ten to fourteen weeks are the set up for the workout phase. The vast majority of the runs in the Base training Phase will be at an easy pace. If you have a running partner, you should be able to converse with them. If you are out of breath while trying to speak, then you are running too hard. Most advance runners understand the concept of Hard/ Easy days. For those that are not familiar with the concept of Hard easy days, there will be more information in the workout stage.

Pretty much all runs in base training are easy with the exception of the Long run. In the Base Training phase, the most important run is the Long Run. All other workouts are supporting this run.

For those used to working out hard, it is difficult to determine the benefits of working out easy for extended periods of time lasting weeks. This system works because of two reasons. The first reason is straightforward. It is still possible to improve one's conditioning by running easy. After ten weeks of easy running, one will be in better shape than when they started. More importantly there is no reason to worry about any mental fatigued or burnout. In fact, just the opposite; It is now possible to attack the hard workouts in the second stage of training.

People  may have different perceptions on what running easy is. This is pretty simple. On flat ground you should be able to converse with a running partner for the entire run. For those that are running alone your breathing rythym should be at least every other step. (For example, if you are breathing in on every left step you are running to hard.)

Again, The core of this entire system revolves around the completion of the weekly Long Run.

The one difference for runners at this level compared to others is how rapidly we increase the mileage for the long run. We assume runners at this level are already used to fairly high-mileage. If you have not done too many workouts over 12 miles, do not worry, it should not be too difficult, as the workout is at an extremely easy pace.

People running at this level tend to run higher mileage compared to the other levels. However, at a certain point, one will not see a significant improvement by simply adding more and more miles. This just increases the risk of injury. One solution is to add a second run. This run is conducted at an easier pace then your easy runs. It is an essentially long warmup, followed by some relaxed running. Even though, the run is short, it is still necessary to cool down. This run can add significant amounts to your running with minimal risk of injury. This run besides adding mileage has other benefits. The extended warmup allows the body a quicker recovery from hard workouts. Usually most of the stiffness will be removed before the afternoon workout. This also allows one to get more quality miles in the afternoon workout even though that workouts mileage remains the same.

For the elite runners, and those runners that are trying to move up another level there are charts that include the morning run. This is a terrific way to add more total mileage to the weekly total with out adding more stress.

Click here for more information. (Morning run)

One can choose from several charts. The charts were all originally based on time. It is recommended to use a time based charts instead of a mileage chart.
However, Feedback has shown that some people simply like mileage charts better for a variety of factors.

Pleae note the Mileage charts and the time-based charts may not exactly correlate. This is because aggregate times may be used to determine the distance.

These charts are only guidelines. It is necessary to modify them for your own person needs.

Please Click here for Base training Charts for runners under three hours.

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